Roger Ebert started reviewing movies for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967, he wrote several books, a few screenplays, was a guest lecturer at the University of Chicago, won a Pulitzer Prize, and hosted several very popular television shows that lasted for decades. He was a lifelong Democrat, and urged Michael Moore to do his infamous acceptance speech at the Academy Awards. He openly disagreed with the policies of the MPAA, and he even dated Oprah Winfrey before he met and married Chaz Ebert in 1992.
A few years ago he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and lost most of his lower jaw after numerous surgeries, and he still kept going. Two days before his death he announced that he was leaving his position at the Chicago Sun-Times to focus on his health and recovery after they discovered cancer in his hip bone after an injury. That goodbye letter to his fans he posted on his blog was wonderful, but the hundreds responses to it were even more so. It was clear that he was loved, and he will be missed.
On a personal note, he was one of my favorite critics. Although I didn't always agree with his opinions, I always respected him because he was a brilliant writer.
He passed away on Thursday, April 4 2013. He was 70 years old.